How to identify housing bubbles? A decision support model

Charalambos Pitros, Yusuf Arayici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide a decision support model for the early diagnosis of housing bubbles in the UK during the maturity process of the phenomenon.
Design/methodology/approach: The development process of the model is divided into four stages. These stages are driven by the normal distribution theorem coupled with the case study approach. The application of normal distribution theory is allowed through the usage of several parametric tools. The case studies tested in this research include the last two UK housing bubbles, 1986 to 1989 and 2001/2002 to 2007. The central hypothesis of the model is that during housing bubbles, all speculative activities of market participants follow an approximate synchronisation, and therefore, an irrational, synchronous and periodic increase on a wide range of relevant variables must occur to anticipate the bubble component. An empirical application of the model is conducted on UK housing market data over the period of 1983-2011.
Findings: The new approach successfully identifies the well-known UK historical bubble episodes over the period of 1983-2011. The study further determines that for uncovering housing bubbles in the UK, house price changes have the same weight with the debt–burden ratio when their velocity is positive. Finally, the application of this model has led us to conclude that the model’s outputs fluctuate approximately in line with phases of the UK real estate cycle. Originality/value: This paper proposes a new measure for studying the presence of housing bubbles. This measure is not simply an ex post detection technique but dating algorithms that use data only up to the point of analysis for an on-going bubble assessment, giving an early warning diagnostic that can assist market participants and regulators in market monitoring.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-221
Number of pages32
JournalInternational Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


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